WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve has broadened its oversight beyond banks and now monitors a wide range of financial institutions that could hasten another financial crisis, Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday.
Bernanke said the Fed was still monitoring banks and other important financial institutions.
But it has widened its scope to include other participants that could either trigger a crisis or make the system more vulnerable.
Chief among them is the so-called shadow banking system, which includes loans that are turned into securities and sold to investors.
The breakdown of lending in subprime mortgages helped trigger the 2008 crisis.
In a speech to a banking conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Bernanke said the Fed was also looking more closely at asset markets and the nonfinancial sector, which includes consumers and businesses.